Monday, December 08, 2003
SUSPECT MOVES PT. I
The Mets may have a new General Manager but they still have the same old mentality. Rob Neyer has a good take on the Mets signing of Japanese shortstop Kaz "little" Matsui. The Mets front office seems just as concerned with a player's marquee value as their actual value on the field and this has led them to overpay for players whose best days are behind them. (This philosophy also appears to extend to their hiring of managers.) Now that the Yankees have their own star Japanese player named Matsui I guess the Mets felt they needed one too. (I'm still not sure if anyone has told Kaz that there are actually two teams in New York; the Yankees and the one he just signed with.)
This signing partly makes sense in that shortstops are in demand in MLB, but the baffling thing is that the Mets already have Jose Reyes: he's young, he's good, and he's cheap. They didn't need to add a shortstop. That's 6.7 million the Mets won't have to try and sign Mike Cameron, a player they and Tom Glavine, need as desperately as any team in MLB. If you are going to spend that much on a shortstop then why not spend a couple million more and reunite Miguel Tejada with Art Howe? Or better yet, why not wait and see what happens with A-Rod and the BoSox and have a run at Nomar?
Certainly the major consideration for the Mets in getting their very own Matsui was to enable them to sell Mets caps and other crap in Japan. If they take the extra revenue they get from the Japanese market and put it into Mike Cameron, Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, or can bribe Piazza to finally move to 1st and clear the way for the better man, then fine. But the way the Mets have gone about constructing their teams over the last decade or so is suspect at best.
Really does any other team in MLB have such a weird assemblage of high-priced talent? This team seems to be held together with chicken wire and Art Howe's gum. I think the Mets would have been best served bringing in fresh blood after Steve Phillips' reign rather than promoting Jim Duquette to the GM position. Then again the more I look at it this team the more it seems to be run by it's owner, Fred Wilpon, so maybe it's a moot point.